Chicken Stuffed with Pinot Gris Butter

Yield: 6 servings

This is my version of the traditional Chicken Kiev updated to Wine Country standards. I use a Pinot Gris butter instead of the traditional herb and garlic butter. It adds additional citrus flavor to the chicken as it cooks. This compliments the wine as well.

By carefully double breading this dish, it locks in the butter, so that you get a burst of flavor and aroma when you first cut into it.

I often serve this with simple steamed rice or cous-cous so that I can taste the flavor of the butter as it is absorbed by the starch.

This is one wine oriented dish that my children love.

  • 6 ea  chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, 6-7 oz each
  • 3 cups  unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 ea  eggs, large
  • 2 cups  flour

Directions

  1. Place the chicken breasts between 2 layers of plastic wrap and pound lightly with either a mallet or the back of a heavy sauce pan to flatten and even out the thickeness. You want to widen the chicken breast so that you can wrap it around the Pinot Gris butter.
  2. Place the chicken breast on a cutting board so that the “skin side” (even though there is not skin on this) is facing down. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Take 2 tablespoons of VERY COLD Pinot Gris butter (one chunk if possible) and coat it heavily with the breadcrumbs by rolling it in the crumbs. This will help keep the butter from escaping when you bake it.
  4. Place the butter in the center of the breast and wrap it completely in the chicken breast so the butter is locked inside. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  5. Place eggs (mixed with 1T of water), flour and breadcrumbs in 3 separate bowls or pie dishes. Take the stuffed chicken and coat lightly in flour. Wipe of the excess, being careful not to break the seal of the chicken around the butter. Then dip in egg, then breadcrumbs. Then go back to the eggs (we are going to skip the flour this time) and then the breadcrumbs again. This will form a double breading to help keep it crisp and seal in the butter.
  6. Carefully place this on a plate that has been sprinkled with additional breadcrumbs.
  7. Once all the chicken has been breaded. You have a choice, this dish can be baked in a small glass baking dish, or you can first pan-fry the bottom then the top to give it a little color and a bit of a crust.
  8. Either way, place in a baking dish and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven to finish cooking. If the chicken is baked all the way, plan on at least 20-30 minutes in the oven.
  9. If you have pan-fried them first, plan on 15-20 minutes.
  10. When done, remove from the oven and CAREFULLY place these on a plate with steamed rice and a nice vegetable of your choice. I like green beans lightly steamed and tossed with a little bit of olive oil.
  11. The goal is to serve these immediately out of the oven and to cut into them before the butter has escaped.
  12. It always happens that some of the butter has escaped, so I will spoon this extra butter on the chicken for additional flavor.

Pinot Gris butter:

  • 1 cup  butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup  Gallo of Sonoma Pinot Gris
  • 1T   chopped parsley (flat leaf preferred)
  • 1.5 t   minced garlic
  • 1.5 t  minced shallots
  • 3/4 each Zest of lemon
  • 1/3 each Zest of orange
  • 1/8 t  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t   salt
  • 2T  unseasoned breadcrumbs (panko)

Directions

  1. Allow butter to soften to room temperature.
  2. Place pinot gris in small non-reactive sauce pan and reduce over medium heat to approximately 1/4 it’s volume (you should have about 1.5 – 2 T of reduced wine left). Allow reduced wine to cool to room temperature before using.
  3. Place butter, reduced wine, garlic, shallots, parsley, and pepper in a small to medium sized mixing bowl. Zest lemon and orange with a micro-plane directly into the bowl so that the essential oils from the zest go into the butter. Add the breadcrumbs (I use this only when I make the stuffed chicken dish since it helps keep the butter inside)
  4. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until all the wine is absorbed into the butter mixture. Taste and add salt.
  5. Roll it in wax paper into a “log” shape and store either in the refrigerator or the freezer until needed. This recipe can be made several days ahead. It is best when made at least 2-3 hours ahead or the night before to allow the flavors to develop and so that it can chill for the chicken dish.\
  6. The butter can be made and the chicken can be stuffed a full day in advance. In fact, it cooks better when the chicken is stuffed and breaded ahead of time. If you do this though, you will need to roll again in breadcrumbs just before cooking.

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